Monday, November 19, 2007

November die Hirsch Jägerfeier

I have a hard time with this part of the year. Work starts to pile up as the business starts to see the end of Q4 out on the horizon, the wife begins the annual frenzy to by Christmas gifts, Holiday travelling begins in earnest in just two days.... and in Ohio, Deer Season begins the Monday after Thanksgiving. Now the issue becomes clear. I am compromising how good I am at everything to go turn Bambi and into chops and summer sausage. There are few better forms of the game than this one. Hunting whitetails in Ohio, in late November, in the rain, at the close-in ranges you can only find in a woods of cedars and second or third growth oak and maple.

Now, to understand my love for this you need to grasp all the levels on which elements come together for me around my hunt. Let's begin with the obvious and work our way back to esoteric and even then only hit the really big ones:
  1. My favorite, favorite handgun in the entire world has a purpose for 48 to 72 hours during this week. The 44 Bisley Blackhawk knows few equals for shootability and power and I intend to put it to good use. Last year I used my second favorite handgun, Thompson Encore in 454 Casull. It actually cartwheeled the deer side over side. I decided it was too much for this task. I still love it but this year will just be me and the Blackhawk...
  2. This is the real hunting game. This is what all the prep and practice work stalking the squirrels is all about. For two or three days you hunt, remain silent and as motionless as possible, strike your target from cover, and don't miss and you get a half a freezer full of some good stuff. The reward thing is just really solid.
  3. I am a navy buff. Specifically I love submarines. See the first part of this post for a description of conditions. Speaking metaphorically, it is very much like the sub game. You can't really see very far so you listen a lot. If you are moving it is way easier for the target to hear you and for you not to hear him. Silence is the only way to be successful and patience to a nearly disturbed, far ebyond rational level is required . You will be waiting a long time most days for one shot that may come and go in 10 to 15 seconds. It is just a great, great sport and my favorite part is becoming the deadly black hole in the trees and waiting for my deer.

To be fair, my least favorite part of it is dressing and cleaning the damned things. It's not vomit gross or anything... there's just that moment where the carcass transitions in the brain from living quarry to parts to be sorted out and handling the first leg the first time is always a bad feeling for me. The fur makes it tough. Especially if a shoulder is broken or something. Just an odd feeling for a bit. I worked in a butcher shop for a number of years in high school and once I get moving it gets more like that with each cut, and I know how to tolerate that...

Anyhow, it is go time. The Blackhawk is sighted. The ammo is punchy. My gear is in order. My spot is picked. All that remains is getting through Thanksgiving and getting up on Monday and not going to work. (OHHHH Yeah... no cubical again. Fu&* Yeah!!)

It was last year that I was able, for the first time, to be in the woods at what I considered a good time before daybreak (2 hours or so) and got myself situated. All years previously I had been driving or just running late or whatever. Last year I got to do it right. My reward was the knowledge that the night sky is not really black but an amazing deep shade of blue. Orion was perched just right in the western sky and I, also for the first time ever, saw enough deer to pass up a few before I put the smack down. I hope this year is half as good. It will be amazing...

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